Major slowdown expected in U.S. shale oil production

  • Last in a five-part series: Behind the BoomThe shale-oil tsunami that has flooded New Mexico with a wave of petro dollars in recent years may be receding somewhat as U.S. production faces its first significant decline since the gushers began nearly eight years ago.
  • Signs of trouble are showing up in major basins around the country, with a significant drop in drilling rig activity and sluggish growth this year compared with the spectacular bursts of production in recent years that has transformed the U.S. into the world's No. 1 oil producer.
  • A new report released in November by global research and consulting firm IHS Markit says the U.S. is headed for a “major slowdown,” reflecting today's moderate oil prices, investor reluctance to continue pumping huge sums into companies that have shown only modest returns on capital, and significant productivity declines in shale-oil fields.

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